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Second winter reading list

second winter

Seriously though. I know astrological spring and meteorological spring are different concepts and I’m all for more snow, but the bouncing back and forth thing has got to stop. GET IT TOGETHER, VIRGINA.

This post is a day late thanks to the Sweet Briar creative writing conference eating most of my brain really late because my brain is a strange, unpredictable thing and I do not work well under vague, looming stress. Forthcoming: a post about how I need to figure out what I’m doing after graduation, and whether or not that plan involves an MFA (spoilers: probably).

The problem with crafting a reading list for this project before I’d actually begun doing the bulk of my research was that I wasn’t entirely certain what kinds of texts would be the most useful to me. With that in mind I collected anything and everything I could find that seemed vaguely scholarly and added it to my reading list, and now the time has come for some weeding.

Still to be read are Martin Weller’s The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practiceas well as a collaborative paper written by some of my father’s architectural colleagues titled “Technology and Pedagogy: Designing for the Future.” While I think Weller’s work may still be useful for me in gleaning more general ideas about how teachers approach online education, and especially in refining my ideas about the ethos that informs certain pedagogies, “Designing for the Future” has to go. I added it to the list to bring in a more diverse, unique perspective on edtech, but it doesn’t meet my research needs.

Two resources I certainly haven’t mined as much as I could have are Jim Groom’s blog and Alan Levine’s blog. Both are rich with great commentary about ds106 specifically and are heavily informed by the ethos I want to explore and attempt to define. There’s also a great deal in both of their blogs about the work behind ds106, which could be really useful in talking about instructor intent versus student understanding. The biggest issue with using these blogs in my paper is that they aren’t technically scholarly sources, but I have a feeling I can get away with that by relying on the author’s credentials.

There are also a few more resources from Bryan Alexander that I’d love to look into, namely the Horizon Report and his consistent commentary over at NITLE.  The National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education also blogged through the Future of Higher Education conference in 2011, which could provide more resources to chase.

Another resource I’ve recently become aware of is Hybrid Pedagogy. There’s definitely a specific ethos to this journal and I think it more explicitly states some of what I’ve been teasing out within ds106. A lot of the articles here are fairly politicized in one way or another, but there are a few that make really interesting claims about the state of edtech and how we should integrate tech into education, or dismantle current systems to better accommodate tech.

This article from Digital Humanities Now is similar in tone to the two articles I linked above, but it certainly provides a distinct perspective on how to approach edtech, and it addresses the rhetoric of innovation I blogged about earlier in some significant ways. Because of that I think this is an article I’ll have to read through closely, so it’s going on the short list.

One aspect of edtech I feel I haven’t given nearly enough brainspace to is the concept of the MOOC, and this article from Hack Education lays out the evolution of the MOOC through 2012 with quite a bit of detail. Not a scholarly resource, perhaps, but it’ll help me catch up with some of the more recent developments on that front and tap into the discourse about MOOCs more effectively.

Then there’s Ian Bogost’s How To Do Things With Videogames, which offers an interesting perspective in its conclusion about the eventual normalization of video games. The same conclusion is probably applicable to edtech as well, and at the end of my paper I think it’d be useful to consider how edtech might operate, and how the rhetoric around it might evolve, once it becomes more universally adopted.

This weekend the plan is to chew through some of these new resources and revisit a couple of old ones. I hope to have a slightly less vague outline for my final paper completed (or at least begun!) by Sunday night, and if I get REALLY productive, I might even post a bit of a personal ramble about how I’m struggling to wed new media and creative writing in my search for the perfect grad school.

Who knows? Tomorrow’s Easter and I survived Winter 2.0. Anything could happen.



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